What Happens During an Epidural Steroid Injection Procedure?

Patient talking to a doctor

Long-lasting pain in the back, legs, arms, or neck is often related to a condition in the spine. Herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and other conditions create pressure that affects the nerves in your spinal cord. This pressure causes inflammation that leads to pain, numbness, and tingling in your nerves, which often spreads from your back into your arms, legs, or even your head.

There are different ways to address this pain. You could try exercising more, taking pain medication, and improving your diet. However, if these options aren’t working for you, it’s time to consider something else. Surgery is a possible option for reducing your pain at the source, but many people can reduce their pain without needing to go as far as surgery. In these cases, an epidural steroid injection may be all that you need.

What is an epidural steroid injection?

The epidural space is a layer filled with fat surrounding the spinal cord. The goal of an epidural steroid injection is to deliver medication to this area to combat inflammation and swelling that is affecting the nerves in your spine.

An epidural steroid injection doesn’t get rid of the herniated disc or other causes of the pain, but it does rinse out proteins that cause swelling, which helps provide long-lasting pain reduction for many recipients.

What is the epidural steroid injection procedure like?

An epidural steroid injection procedure is usually quick, lasting about 15 minutes to an hour. You’ll remain awake during the procedure, but you shouldn’t feel anything beyond mild discomfort because the doctor will use a local anesthetic to numb the injection area.

During the procedure, you lie on a table while the doctor inserts a needle into your back. They use X-ray fluoroscopy to guide the precision of the needle to find the precise spot in the epidural area that needs the injection. Once the doctor has located the correct position, they’ll administer the steroid.

After the procedure is finished, the doctor may bandage the injection area if there is any bleeding, but you should be able to move around immediately and go home that same day. The next day, most patients are able to resume normal activities.

Visit iRISE Spine & Joint Institute for an epidural steroid injection

Do you live with long-lasting pain in your back, legs, arms, or neck that gets in the way of your ability to enjoy life? An epidural steroid injection may be what you need to reduce this pain so you can return to your favorite activities. Contact our team today for more information about epidural steroid injections or to schedule an initial appointment.